Missouri Environment Oral History Project, Records, 1997- (C3966)

Interview Synopses / Topics


Bailey, William W. (a.c. 1-3)

William Warren Bailey was born near Eminence, Missouri. He worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and later as a district ranger for the Ozark National Scenic National Riverways (ONSR). Bailey discusses the land concessions and negotiations that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s to establish the riverways and several other controversies involving trapping and canoing on the riverways during his tenure.


Barron, Lavern and Mary Branson (a.c. 41, 42)

Sisters Mary Branson and Lavern Barron, longtime residents of Ripley County; Branson since sixteen years old, Barron since birth. Branson and Barron discuss the old farm their father moved them to, architectural features of farmhouse, the settlement of Buck Skull (later Currentview), old roads and traveling between the farm and Success, Arkansas, and Doniphan, Missouri. They also recall former modes of entertainment, musical parties, and square dances.


Braschler, Eugene W. (a.c. 37, 38)

Eugene W. Braschler was born December 11, 1924 in Pratt, Missouri, a small town in Ripley County. Braschler recalls his childhood discussing his family’s interest in birds, fishing, boat building, and hunting. Braschler enrolled in Management Biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1945. During his time at the university he was mentored by Professor Rudolph Bennitt, co-founder of the Missouri Conservation Committee, he also met his wife Pheobe, while attending school. Starting as a trapper for the conservation commission, Braschler left school and began an extensive and varied career in conservation and wildlife management. From 1945 to 1953 he worked at a research facility in Denver before moving to Wyoming where he would head up the government’s coyote depopulation effort. In 1953 Braschler moved to Arizona to work on the Apache Indian Reservation as a Fishery Specialist. Between 1953 and 1984, Mr. Braschler continued to work on a variety of fishery related tasks in Texas, Washington D.C., Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Minnesota. Braschler retired in 1984 and eventually returned to Missouri.


Braschler, Eugene W. and Phoebe (a.c. 52, 53)

Eugene and Phoebe Braschler were joined by Ray Burson and Bill Wright, whose father founded the notable Wright Lumber company, for the interview. This group of enthusiastic individuals volunteered their energy and interest for local history research and writing to create a Heritage Village of period buildings and implements and the Current River Heritage Museum, one of the best local history museums in the state. The interview was taped around a large table at the museum in downtown Doniphan, Missouri. At various points during the recording people would point to artifacts located within view to illustrate a point. Part way through the session Lester Wright happened through the museum and stopped and contributed some of his recollections.


Burford, Dorothy (a.c. 39, 40)

Dorothy Robinson Wright Burford was born October 2, 1903 in Doniphan, Missouri, and was from the prominent Wright family of Ripley County. Burford discusses the Wright Telephone Company, T.L. Wright Lumber Company, and family gravel company as well as early childhood memories of growing up in Doniphan.


Burson, Ray, et. al. (a.c. 52, 53)

Ray Burson was joined by Eugene and Phoebe Braschler and Bill Wright, whose father founded the notable Wright Lumber Company, for the interview. This group of enthusiastic individuals volunteered their energy and interest for local history research and writing to create a Heritage Village of period buildings and implements and the Current River Heritage Museum, one of the best local history museums in the state. The interview was taped around a large table at the museum in downtown Doniphan, Missouri. At various points during the recording people would point to artifacts located within view to illustrate a point. Part way through the session Lester Wright happened through the museum and stopped and contributed some of his recollections.


Crutcher, W.J. "Dub" (a.c. 26, 27)

The impetus for this interview session originated with a desire to gather information from W.J. "Dub" Crutcher and his role in appraising real property in Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) condemnation cases of the late 1960s and early 1970s. No one exceeds, and probably only a few equal Mr. Crutcher's knowledge of this particular topic. Mr. Crutcher had also arranged for others to be present for this session.

Joel Montgomery owns the former Leo Anderson property abutting the Current River just downstream from Van Buren, which has its own history of recreational use going back to at least the 1930s. Montgomery offers the perspective of a riverbank landowner who initially stood to lose his property, but then was able to negotiate a scenic easement with the Park Service.

Mack Campbell has long lived on Mr. Montgomery's property as a caretaker.

Coleman McSpadden gave a more full account of his perspective on the ONSR during an earlier interview conducted with him and his son, Dennis McSpadden (Collection #3966, a.c.12). But Mr. McSpadden offers additional information here with little overlap of former testimony.


Debruin, Henry W. (a.c. 44, 45)

Henry W. Debruin was born on May 27, 1923. He began his United States Forest Service (USFS) career in Oregon, and later worked on the Superior National Forest, before transferring to Missouri, where he was supervisor of the Mark Twain National Forest (during the mid and late 1960s.) While on the Superior, Mr. Debruin was instrumentally involved with the late 1950s establishment of the Superior-Quetico Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which was a pioneering effort to protect inland shoreline. This experience prepared him well for what he came to see as among his most important accomplishments in Missouri, preserving the Eleven Point River in free flowing form. The landmark 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act included the Eleven Point.

While on the Mark Twain, Mr. Debruin also worked for the reestablishment of grasses in natural grassland areas that were, at the time, producing low quality trees. This kind of ecological approach has gained much wider acceptance since the 1960s, but could be quite controversial in its day. In the following pages, Mr. Debruin offers a perspective on his conflict with the Missouri state foresters over grasslands restoration. Mr. Debruin’s tenure on the Mark Twain also coincided with the establishment of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways under National Park Service management. During the 1961 Congress, Missouri Congressman Tom Curtis, Leo Drey, and others had backed an alternative bill advocating expanded Forest Service management of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers. Additionally, Mr. Debruin’s experience in Missouri spanned some of the final years of open range in the Missouri Ozarks, and included herein are recollections of this topic, old local practices of burning the forest, timber poaching, and other local customs.


Dix, David A. (a.c. 54, 55)

David A. Dix was born on October 8, 1932 in Shannon County, Missouri, and comes from a long native ancestry which he describes in the following account. The interview contains Mr. Dix’s observations on many subjects associated with Shannon, Carter, and other eastern Missouri Ozark counties. These include his experience as a johnboat river guide during his youth, the controversial Army Corps proposal of the 1940s and 1950s to possibly impound the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, the old custom of “grandmawing” timber in Shannon County, the Pioneer Forest, early OSNR land acquisition, and the wild horse issue of recent years. Of note is a particularly rich description of the old open range in Shannon County. Mr. Dix has long been involved with Republican Party politics and ends the interview with a discussion of this topic.


Drey, Leo A. (a.c. 6-8)

Leo A. Drey was born in 1917 in St. Louis. He attended Antioch College, and later worked as assistant treasurer for Wohl Shoe Company in St. Louis. In 1951 he began buying timber land in the eastern Missouri Ozarks. This early acquisition soon grew, and by the early 1960s, the land had the name of Pioneer Forest and entailed about 135,000 acres. Today that figure is around 160,000 acres, all told. Mr. Drey's extensive collection of letters and other papers is deposited with the State Historical Society of Missouri, St. Louis Research Center. Researchers should consult this collection (and the Kay Drey collection) for voluminous additional information pertaining to environmental matters and their history in Missouri and the nation.


Elliott, Bruce F. (a.c. 21)

Bruce F. Elliott was born on July 2, 1909. He began his Forest Service career in Michigan during the Depression era. In 1954 he transferred to Ava, Missouri, to manage livestock grazing on the Mark Twain National Forest during some of the final years of open range in Missouri. In 1963 he transferred to Van Buren to work on the Clark National Forest, where he stayed until his 1972 retirement.

Mr. Elliott transferred to Van Buren just before Congress implemented the Ozark National Scenic Riverways under Park Service management. During the late 1950s and early 1960s a proposal that would have expanding Forest Service management along the Current River had, for a time, posed an alternative to Park Service management. This period witnessed an increase and diversification of Forest Service recreation facilities nationwide, and Mr. Elliott relates Clark National Forest examples in his recollection of the construction of Skyline Drive and various horse trails. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways made the Current and Jacks Fork the first nationally protected rivers, and acted as something of a precedent for the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which included the Eleven Point River in its first round of inclusion. Mr. Elliott helped manage the Eleven Point under this new legislation.


Glaser, Edwin H. (a.c. 1-3)

Edwin H. Glaser worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation for many years, beginning as a fire fighter during high school in 1942, and ending as deputy director, circa 1991. The interview covers virtually the entire range of Department of Conservation activities, including forestry, wildlife, recreation, public relations, financing, rivers management, prairie restoration. Old Ozark practices of annual woods burning, open range, and timber theft discussed.


Grassham, James (a.c. 15-16)

James Grassham was born on April 2, 1928. His ancestors go back several generations in the eastern Missouri Ozarks, where Mr. Grassham himself has lived all his life. Mr. Grassham has a long history of civic, business, and political prominence in southeast Missouri, particularly in Van Buren and Carter County. At the time of the interview he continued to operate his long standing car dealership, and more recently had expanded into the hardware business. He served as the mayor of Van Buren, 1962-1978, and as presiding commissioner of Carter County from 1986 to beyond the time of the interview.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. Grassham was among the supporters favoring Park Service management of the Current River. He testified before Congress during both sets of hearings, in 1961 and 1963. In 1964, President Johnson signed the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) bill. This interview offers observation of events extending from the open range of the 1950s and 1960s up to more recent topics concerning the ONSR, such as the controversy over horses running loose in Shannon County, or the limiting of tourists staying in the former Big Spring State Park (now part of the ONSR). Although generally satisfied with the ONSR's presence, Mr. Grassham has experienced some dissatisfaction with the ONSR's limited economic stimulus and related Park Service public relations, details of which he describes in several passages. Like many other community leaders, Mr. Grassham has been pleased with the ONSR's latest superintendent and generally how the ONSR has functioned during the most recent years.


Hedden, Robert E. (a.c. 9)

Robert E. Hedden was born on July 6, 1928, in Red Field, Arkansas. He studied forestry at University of Georgia, and later worked for Armstrong Cork Company before becoming an independent timber and real estate appraiser. Mr. Hedden was one of the timber appraisers that local landowners hired during the condemnation proceedings against them for the establishment of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Public Law 88-492, passed in 1964).


Hennesay, Vernon (a.c. 11)

Vernon Hennesay was born on June 9, 1927. His Park Service career began in 1948, and he worked in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Nebraska before transferring to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways as its first chief ranger, in July 1965. By February 1966, Mr. Hennesay had become the ONSR's second superintendent. His tenure at the ONSR spanned early planning and land acquisition, and before his departure for the Yellowstone National Park (in 1967), he oversaw the ONSR's first tract acquisition. Scenic easements, a fairly novel concept during the 1960s, also comprised an area of great attention for Mr. Hennesay and other early ONSR employees. The ONSR was the first nationally protected river, and faced momentous challenges in its implementation. Unfortunately, a significant degree of controversy characterized its early stages, and in this context Mr. Hennesay remembered his most important accomplishment as probably being the "soothing the feelings of the people toward the Park Service and the Riverways itself."


Keefe, James F. (a.c. 4, 5)

James F. Keefe worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation from 1951 to 1987, mostly as an information officer, and largely overseeing publication of the Missouri Conservationist magazine. Topics cover a broad range of Department of Conservation endeavors, especially from a public relations perspective. Researches should also consult Keefe’s history of the agency, The First 50 Years.


Kennedy, Douglas R. (a.c. 51)

Douglas R. Kennedy was a central figure in the late 1980s-early 1990s controversy surrounding a group of horses that roamed freely in Shannon county, Missouri, in and around the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The following transcript focuses specifically on this topic. Mr. Kennedy’s major initial involvement entailed the donation of his legal skills and advice to a group of people interested in preserving the horses in this eastern Missouri Ozark habitat. These people later organized themselves into the Missouri Wild Horse League, based in Eminence, Missouri. Mr. Kennedy was among the group of horse advocates that testified before Congress. Their efforts finally resulted in a federal statute protecting the horses.


McClintock, Marlin (a.c. 19, 20)

Marlin McClintock was born on September 13, 1929, in Mountain View, Missouri. He comes from a lengthy eastern Missouri Ozark ancestry, as his forebearers were among the very first Caucasian people in the region. Mr. McClintock moved to Van Buren as an infant, and has remained there ever since. Naturally he has much knowledge concerning local land use customs now largely bygone, such as open range, periodic burning of the forest, and "grandmawing" (or, timber theft). During the 1940s, as a teenager, Mr. McClintock took tourists on guides down the Current River. During the debates of the 1950s and early 1960s over the fate of the Current and Eleven Point rivers, Mr. McClintock was a motel owner with significant involvement in the area's tourist trade. He was part of the Ozark National Monument Association and testified before Congress in 1961 and 1963 in favor of Park Service management of the rivers. He represents one of the rare surviving participants from those Congressional hearings. After the Park Service established the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, he became one of the canoe rental concessionaires. So in addition to his knowledge of the ONSR, Mr. McClintock possesses a lengthy perspective on the lower Current River's changing tourism. He also witnessed the ONSR Commission, all of the various ONSR superintendents, and the controversy of limiting horsepower on motorboats using the Current and Jacks Fork. For Mr. McClintock, one of the great losses in the establishment of the ONSR was the compromise that resulted in the exclusion of the Eleven Point River and the Ripley County portion of the Current. Mr. McClintock feels that this diminishment in size and a subsequent lack of advertising of the ONSR has contributed to a tourist trade less prosperous than it might have been, but that overall, Park Service management has succeeded in protecting the Current River.


McDowell, Andrew (a.c. 32)

Andrew McDowell was born February 11, 1882, in Ripley County, Missouri. McDowell began his career working at Grandin Mill, which was once considered the largest sawmill in the world. While working at the mill, McDowell learned how to drive horse and mule teams and cut and haul lumber. Later in life McDowell would make the transition from lumber yard worker to farmer.

Throughout his adolescence, McDowell witnessed many changes in industry and agriculture. He discusses the virgin timbers of his childhood, the naming of Panther Spring, his memories of the big snow of 1917, and the devastating effects of the tornado of 1927. McDowell gives detailed insight into what it was like growing up in Ripley County, Missouri, and at the turn of twentieth century. Emphasizing a change in the land of his youth from wide open spaces to more developed sites, McDowell shares memories of his life experiences. Living through a time of great innovation, McDowell shares his recollections on the evolution of the lawn mower, the development of cars, and Ripley County’s shift to a more advanced road system.


McSpadden, Coleman and Dennis (a.c. 12)

Mr. Coleman McSpadden was born on November 14, 1925, in Van Buren, Missouri. His ancestry in the region goes back to the beginning of white settlement in the Missouri Ozarks. He was one of the early supporters of Park Service management of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, and testified before Congress to this effect in 1961 and 1963. He has witnessed the several Ozark National Scenic Riverways superintendents who have come and gone, as well as the early land acquisition efforts. Subsequent Park Service restrictions on camping and other regulations have dissatisfied Mr. McSpadden and his son, Dennis McSpadden. The McSpaddens witnessed the recent wild horse controversy of the early and mid 1990s, and relate their perspective on it here.


Outlaw, Alex (a.c. 17, 18)

Alex Outlaw worked for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways for about twenty-three years, 1972-1995. In his interview he offers an unusual perspective of the Riverways, partly because the Park Service personnel tend to transfer every few years. Instead Mr. Outlaw retired from the Riverways and began restoring a cabin in the nearby village of Wilderness, in Oregon County. The interview took place in the restored living room of this historic structure.


Shemwell, Max O. (a.c. 43)

Max O. Shemwell was born on April 11, 1919, in Doniphan, Missouri, where he has spent the majority of his life and currently resides. Doniphan is located on the Current River which has affected the way of life there extensively. Shemwell speaks about growing up near the river and the economic opportunities it has provided such as fishing, boating and tourism.

River life has given him knowledge on johnboats, inboard motors, current operated ferries, and the differences between wood and aluminum boats as well as a library of stories about ferry systems he has heard since his youth. Shemwell credits the Civilian Conservation Corps’ (CCC) camp located in Doniphan for the large areas of federally protected land along with the road systems in the area. He also discusses the generational dichotomy of his home town.


Shockley, Carl and Mae (a.c. 28-30)

This interview deals with the lower Current River area of Carter County, Missouri, around Van Buren, and the establishment of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR). Perhaps one of the most remarkable things revealed in this interview is a portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Shockleys' love of work, and particularly their love of working the land. The Shockleys industriously farmed several hundred acres abutting the west side of the Current River, just south of Van Buren, until the Park Service condemned some 387 acres for inclusion in the ONSR during the late 1960s.

The Shockleys were among the original ONSR opponents, and while a significant amount of this interview deals with the ONSR itself, a great deal describes their vigorous work, which was essential for prospering as farmers in a region not exactly friendly to agriculture. Work described includes farming (putting up hay, raising livestock), firewood cutting, and timbering. Other topics of interest include Mrs. Shockley's quiltmaking, the old paddlewheel riverboat business, the work of Mr. Robert Shockley (Carl's father) -- boatbuilding, furniture building, and other woodworking -- the old open range (including a really great description of old hog earmarks), "grandmawing," and annual burning of the woods. Like many other natives of the Current River area in Carter County, the Shockleys recall an earlier type of tourist from the more polite American society of the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s -- which stands in stark contrast to a later and much more numerous type of visitor, from the 1970s onward. And again, like other older residents of the Van Buren area, they remember Big Spring State Park as a heavily visited locale in great contrast to recent years and present time, when Park Service restrictions have heavily limited visitors and campers.

There is a lot happening in this interview, which ultimately presents a complex story. Aspects include the Shockleys' original unpleasant dealings with the ONSR. The land acquisition process they describe reflects bullying tactics which local people still generally describe and discuss in the region. The Shockleys relate details of what it was actually like to be displaced from a farm -- which required movement of themselves, all their possessions, all their livestock, farm machinery -- and the disruption which relocating their lives and livelihood entailed. But this unpleasant beginning of their dealings with the ONSR was far from the end. They participated in subsequent and remarkable cooperative efforts, including the loaning of farm equipment to the actual ONSR land acquisition officer who had earlier upset them so much. They also participated (ultimately unsatisfactorily) in the ONSR's field leasing program. Mr. Robert Shockley was well known for his johnboat building, which he eventually performed as part of the ONSR's interpretative program. Understandably, the Shockleys are still bitter against local, original supporters of establishing the ONSR.


Smith, James "Jim" D. (a.c. 22, 23)

James “Jim” D. Smith was born in Eminence, Missouri, on September 3, 1944. He was raised in Shannon County on land that had been in his family for generations. He still lives there today. Smith discusses the controversy between the U.S. National Park Service and the people of Eminence. The debate between the two began in 1990 when the Park Service claimed there were feral horses running free on federal land. As the owner of the Cross Country Trail Ride Arena and a citizen of the area Smith had a stake in the debate. Art Sullivan, the Park Service Superintendent, pushed to get rid of the wild horses in Eminence. What resulted was a court case that ended in the favor of the Park Services, after being taken all the way to Washington D.C. to a U.S. Supreme Court.

After the ruling, U.S. Representative Bill Emerson drafted a bill to save the horses by making them a permanent part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The bill was posthumously passed in 1996 by his wife, JoAnn, Senators Kit Bond and John Ashcroft. The Missouri Wild Horse League was organized in response to the situation as well and is still in operation today. Smith is a longtime member of the league and supporter of their work for wild horses.


Steen, Ron (a.c. 31, 32)

Ron Steen was born in Ripley County, Missouri and grew up in Carter County. He tells of his grandfather's work building john boats and of his summer cabins on the Jack's Fork that were rented out to tourists. Steen also talks about boating on the rivers, "snagging" or clearing the channel, and trapping along the rivers as well as the reintroduction of the beaver, the controversy surrounding the damming of the Current River, and interactions between the people of the area and the National Park Service staff.


Sullivan, Arthur L. (a.c. 46-48)

Arthur L. Sullivan was born on February 9, 1931, in South Manchester, Connecticut, and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. His Park Service career in 1958 at Harper’s Ferry National Monument. His subsequent career took him to the Minute Man National Park, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park (in North Dakota, now called a National Park,) Statue of Liberty, and Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area in Wyoming and Montana.

Mr. Sullivan’s career was typical among employees of the Park Service, Forest Service or other federal agencies in that he moved frequently from post to post. Remarkable in his career, however, was his rapid rise to the level of superintendent by his third assignment, having park historian for his first two. Mr. Sullivan came to Missouri in 1976 and served as superintendent of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) until his retirement from the Park Service in 1995. To date, he has by far the longest tenure of any ONSR superintendent.

The ONSR was involved with several very notable issues during Mr. Sullivan’s tenure. In the following pages he describes the lengthy legal battle over canoe concessions, the implementation of motorboat horsepower limitations, the debate over trapping on the ONSR, the wild or feral horse issue, and the possibility of mining on neighboring Forest Service lands and potential damage to the greater ONSR watershed (which remains an ongoing controversy at this writing.)

Mr. Sullivan’s recollections of the ONSR itself are extremely interesting and important, and a broader Park Service management context arises through his comparisons and contrast of the ONSR with his experiences at Big Horn Canyon and Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. The three local communities and Park Service interaction with them offer an idea of the range and variety of challenges of federal land management in these respective West and Midwest areas. Also, pertaining to the topic of wild or feral horses in particular, Mr. Sullivan offers three distinct scenarios from the ONST, Big Horn Canyon, and Theodore Roosevelt areas, the totality of which lends insight into different possible Park Service approaches to management of this particular resource.


Thompson, David D. (a.c. 49, 50)

David D. Thompson was born on March 27, 1924 in Mount Morris, Michigan. He began his Park Service career at the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa during the mid-1950s. Subsequently he worked as a historian at Fort McHenry National Monument in Maryland and Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, then as chief historian for Mount Rushmore, followed by an appointment as chief research historian of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. Next, Mr. Thompson transferred into the Midwest regional office, which fortunately gave him an opportunity to study the Ozarks area of Missouri. He arrived as the third superintendent of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) in 1967 and stayed until 1970, when he became a regional director in his continuing ascent up the Park Service hierarchy.

The ONSR got off to an unfortunate start with an apparent poor choice in its first superintendent. The second superintendent, Vernon Hennesay (see a.c. 11, of the Missouri Environment Oral History Collection) attempted to repair this early damage, but only stayed at the ONSR a short time before transferring to Yellowstone National Park. Mr. Thompson, therefore, arrived at the ONSR during a time of particular upheaval, and subsequently became the first superintendent to really persevere with the establishment of the ONSR. Local people around the Current and Jacks Fork region still remember him today as one of the best and most liked of superintendents, and Mr. Thompson offers in his interview some indications of why this came to be.

Mr. Thompson’s tenure at ONSR was the critical time of land acquisition for the new area. Land acquisition had begun prior to his arrival and continued afterward, but the huge majority of this often controversial and sometimes delicate endeavor took place during his superintendency.

While the Land Office based in Eminence carried out the actual land acquisition effort, Mr. Thompson and his headquarters in Van Buren began the early patrolling and rangering of the ONSR, with focus on various aspects of law enforcement, such as litter control and hunting regulation. One momentous event during this period was the successful transfer of the three state parks (Big Spring, Alley Spring, and Round Spring) into Park Service jurisdiction. Mr. Thompson credits Mr. William W. Bailey (see a.c. 24, 25 of the Missouri Environment Collection) with this major achievement. Finally, a most noteworthy topic included in this interview involved then-Shannon County Prosecuting Attorney Winston Buford’s opposition to the Park Service, which had consequences. Mr. Thompson offers a candid account of this issue.


Trammel, Clint (a.c. 33-36)

The interview with Clint Trammel begins in Salem, Missouri with a discussion of a tour of the Pioneer Forest. The interview was taped while riding in the company jeep in parts of Dent and Shannon Counties, or out walking in the forest. The first destination was the White Oak Natural Area and then a location that had been logged some years earlier. The interview then continues in Eminence at an active Pioneer Forest logging and ended driving back to Salem. Researchers interested in Mr. Trammel’s scholarly work should consult the following: Clinton E. Trammel, “Management of the Wurdack Farm Timber Land,” (MS thesis: University of Columbia, 1991.)


Wright, Bill and Lester (a.c. 52, 53)

Bill Wright’s father founded the noted Wright Lumber Company based in Ripley County. In addition to Bill Wright, this interview included Gene and Phoebe Braschler and Ray Burson. This group of enthusiastic individuals volunteered their energy and interest for local history research and writing to create a Heritage Village of period buildings and implements and the Current River Heritage Museum, one of the best local history museums in the state. The interview was taped around a large table at the museum in downtown Doniphan, Missouri. At various points during the recording people would point to artifacts located within view to illustrate a point. Part way through the session Lester Wright happened through the museum and stopped and contributed some of his recollections.


Yantis, Don and Pauline (a.c. 13-14)

Mr. Don Yantis was born on March 23, 1912, in Paragould, Arkansas, not far down river from where this interview took place. He first began visiting the Current River area during the 1930s. He bought his property along the Current River in 1952, and built his house four years later. Mr. Yantis has a great recollection concerning his lengthy past experiences on the Current River, which included johnboat excursions, fishing, fish snagging, and frog grabbing. Mrs. Pauline (Piney) Yantis was born and raised along the Big Sandy River in the Kentucky Appalachians. She makes some interesting contrasts between the Ozarks and Appalachians.

After 1964, when the Park Service began managing the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the Yantises made a life estate agreement over their property. For the past seventeen years they have made their riverside cabin their spring, summer, and autumn home. Their son Stuart lives just upstream from them in another riverside house, which he gained in a trade with the Park Service for other land. Mr. and Mrs. Yantis have been very dissatisfied with the increased river traffic, and particularly with jet boats. Park Service restrictions on horsepower do not apply to the lower reaches of the Current River, from Van Buren down. The Yantises relate some interesting accounts pertaining to ONSR rangers, and an especially good story about Ranger Rick Drummond's capture of deer poachers.

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